Is It Possible To Do a DIY CLA on my Nikkormat FT2 to Get the Shutter Speeds Up?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by momus, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. momus

    momus Member

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    I have an old black Nikkormat FT2 that I really love. The speeds are fine, but above 1/125 they're at least a stop off. 1/1000 tops out at 1/400. I always shoot Tri-X w/ a yellow filter, which sorta helps, but I would like to get the higher speeds up so I could shoot w/ my one Leica lens at wider apertures. Is this something I might be able to do myself, or is it complicated? I'm somewhat handy, but have no experience on these cameras, other than getting into the lens mounts to fix the jumpy meters?
     
  2. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    IF you havent repaired a few SLR bodies, be aware that the timing is controlled by springs and escapements. Cleaning them and oiling them correctly without bending things, losing springs and air thin shims is risky. I have never been inside a nikkormat but I have opened 5 or 6 rangefinders and several medium format cameras and wouldnt hesitate to try...

    If I was willing to throw the camera in the garbage, that is. I never open a camera to repair it without that thought in mind.

    If the camera is precious to you, send it to a pro.
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The best photographic investment I've ever made, fim aside, is professional servicing of gear I intend to use seriously. In the long run the expenditure s always repaid me many times over with reliable gear.
     
  4. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    By all means have your Nik'mat overhauled so you can use its full range of shutter speeds.

    But don't count on using a Leica lens on it. The Nikon F mount's register is 46.5 mm. Leica thread- and M-mount registers are, respectively, 28.8 and 27.95 mm. Leica R-mount register is 47.0 mm. There's a bare chance that an R-mount lens can be attached to a Nikon and still focus to infinity, no hope at all with Leica rangefinder lenses. Leica RF lenses can be used on Nikons, but only for closeup work. Very close up.
     
  5. momus

    momus Member

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    Thank you. I was hoping the copal shutter might be somewhat simpler, but maybe not. I might just shoot it w/ a red filter, which would give me 2-3 stops, rate the film at 100, and be done w/ it. The last time I shot Tri-X at 100 it looked surprisingly good.

    I've sent cameras out to be repaired w/ mixed results. Often the repairers tell me that on an old shutter, one stop variation is within spec, which is about where I am anyway. I've overhauled leaf shutters on Rolleiflex and folders, but they're obviously not a copal shutter. Maybe a work-around w/ the ISO and filter is safer, and for sure cheaper. It's a fine old camera w/ the nicest "snick" you ever heard when you press the shutter button.

    My Leica lens is an R lens Dan. I should have noted that in the original post. It works in stop down mode on Nikons w/ one of those cheap $20 knockoff Leitax mounts on the lens. Anything to keep from having to shoot it on a Leica R body, all of which I've tried, and none of which are as nice as the Nikkormat, for me anyway.

    DSCF3221.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Compared to a horizontal running shutter, the Copal square doesn't have any adjustment points.
    They're self contained units. IE:low speed escapement,self timer and shutter are contained in the same modular unit. Biggest part was removing them from the body since there's no real access to the assembly.
    The ones the shop I worked at were able to revived needed tweaking of the travel times.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    a small screwdriver can save you a ``$100 bill from a pro shop, but it may take a $300 bill toundo the damage the small srewdriver and you did.:D
     
  8. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    The OP does bring up an interesting question. I have 2 Nikkormats. I'd be interested in finding some service information on these shutters, myself.
     
  9. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    I would not attempt such a repair without a factory service manual.
    CraigCamera, http://craigcamera.com/ , reprint 90211, original 27126 listed under the Photographic Literature link.
     
  10. patrickth

    patrickth Member

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    I have several Nikkormats. I just want to say, I had mine cla'd before taking it to Nepal. It cost me $65 about 4 years ago and was definitely worth the $$ spent. I had mine done in Everett, Wa. That was the 2nd camera I had done there and am quite pleased with the whole transaction. He also did an Olympus RD that is sentimental to me and one of my favorite cameras. Same price at the time.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  14. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I have removed and installed these shutters. It's not really so bad. Yeah it's a pretty total disassembly, but I was surprised how I could get the camera popped apart in short order. One of my Nikkormats, my FT2 I build out of a box of junk Nikkormats I stole off EBAY.
    Thanks, men, for the paperwork.
     
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    幸運
     
  16. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I see those Chinese-y looking symbols on my computer lots of times, but don't understand.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Thanks, Henry, for confirming my faith in you! I just knew that you'd know all about these things, and it wouldn't be any major yank for a skilled and talented operator such as your wonderful self. I'm certain that when you are done, yours will be working perfectly, O guru of all that is skill and perfection!
    P.S. Mind those washers.:wink:
     
  18. Kawaiithulhu

    Kawaiithulhu Subscriber

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    Han Chinese for "Lucky"

    I think.
     
  19. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Man, you just don't like me at all. Yeah, I've taken them out and put them in, but haven't a clue as to how to actually work on the shutter. And certainly don't have the test equipment to get curtain times right. I just figured if I saw to a little proper lubrication and didn't tinker with the settings, that speeds might come back to par, just from that.
    But my FTn is dead on the money and has never been opened. At least it's accurate by my knucklehead home made shutter tester, which is not even for FP shutters, really.
     
  20. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Wrong yet again, O guru.
    I don't even know you. But you sure come across as a loud, arrogant, and conceited blowhard, and I don't like that.
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    "Good luck" (my intention, but not always sure about my translation abilities). :smile:
     
  22. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    rolling.gif
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2013
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Factory service manuals are meant as guides for camera service engineers with the training,, tools, test equipment and knowledge to effect repairs, not the man in the street.
     
  24. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    EvH I'll tell you publicly what I think of you. I've rather well respected your knowledge. It has gone to fill some gaps in mine that I always wanted answered, dating back many years. Beyond that I have formulated no personal opinions. That goes for everybody here. I'm a better technician in several fields, even outside of photography. It is strange how somebody can explain something in the field of electronics, for instance, and a reader can have an epiphany in a totally separate field. If I thought I was falling behind in pulling my weight in helping others with questions from time to time, I would resign my handle and leave the site.
     
  25. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Thanks...

    It is possible to strip the vertical shutters but not practical for a stop even if you have expertise buy a ND filter instead or get a junk one & swap modules if the shutter fails.